Why do I have white spots on my teeth?

The white spots, also called demineralization, are the decalcified areas of the teeth where plaque builds up for long periods of time. Demineralization forms when acids from plaque attack the tooth surface, leaving small holes in the enamel and changing the way it reflects light, hence the chalky appearance. This is the first stage of decay.

Poor oral hygiene will leave plaque on your teeth, eventually causing white spots, gum disease and decay.

What causes white spots?

Inadequate brushing and flossing in conjunction with a high sugar diet can cause white spot lesions.

The bacteria in plaque produce acid that dissolves the minerals on your teeth. Because braces house so many nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque, brace-wearers need a little more effort to keep their teeth clean. Poor oral hygiene will leave plaque on your teeth, eventually causing white spots and gum disease.

How can I prevent white spots?

When it comes to brushing your teeth, a good technique goes a long way. Dental clinicians recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste after every meal for around two minutes. This may sound tedious but keeping your oral hygiene in check is vital especially during the course of your orthodontic treatment.

Don’t forget to floss every day. Braces can trap food even after thorough brushing. Use a special floss threader with a stiff end that allows you to thread between the gums and wires. Once you have the floss under the wire, use an up-and-down motion and gently slide it along the side of each tooth.

Be smarter about your diet. As much as possible, avoid a high-carbohydrate diet and stay away from soft drinks or any other carbonated drinks. Steer clear of sticky, sweet foods like muesli bars.

Visit your dentist or dental hygienist regularly. Schedule appointments for dental exams and professional cleans every 6 months. Ask your hygienist for other dental products or advice that can help clean your teeth better while you’re wearing braces. He or she may suggest the use of an interdental brush or an end-tuft toothbrush.

If you or your child is wearing braces, be extra vigilant with your oral hygiene. Regularly check your teeth, and see your dentist immediately if you notice white spots forming on your teeth.

Tooth Mousse is a product often recommended to help prevent white spot lesions from progressing into full blown decay. You should consult your dental professional about when and where to use it. Squeeze a small amount of tooth mousse onto your finger and apply to your teeth. Use your tongue to spread around evenly.  Tooth mousse contains a concentrated source of calcium and phosphate for strengthening and protecting teeth and can assist in countering the effects of acid produced by plaque.